General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2023
On July 21, 2023; the Chronicle newspaper broke the news that huge sums of local and foreign currency had been stolen from the residence of then santitation minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
Over the past 12 days since the news broke, some significant incidents have followed. They are as follows:
a. The minister resigned her position on July 22.
b. She was subsequently arrested and granted bail by the Office of the Special Prosecutor on July 24.
c. The OSP also carried out a search of her residences in Accra on the same day.
d. Police sent a docket of the case to the Attorney General for advice.
What to expect today:
As the case returns to the Accra Circuit Court today (August 2) a number of things are expected.
a. The two main accused and three accomplice could be asked to enter their pleas.
b. The advice of the Attorney General could be read in court
c. The charge sheet could be amended to clarify the cash sums after the minister cited inconsistencies in the figures she reported with the husband and what the charge sheet said.
What GhanaWeb said of the story in our July 21 report:
Two house helps, 18-year-old Patience Botwe and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei, are currently facing charges before an Accra Circuit Court for their alleged involvement in the theft of significant sums of money and personal belongings belonging to Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources and her husband, Daniel Osei Kuffour.
According to a report by The Chronicle, the thefts, which amount to millions of Ghana Cedis, reportedly took place at the couple’s residence in Abelemkpe, a suburb of Accra, between July and October 2022.
The accused, Patience and Sarah, are facing one count of conspiracy to commit a crime and five counts of stealing, involving amounts of US$1 million, €300,000, and millions of Ghana Cedis.
During the same period, the pair allegedly stole personal effects from Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, including assorted clothes valued at GH¢95,000, handbags, perfumes, and jewelry valued at US$95,000.
Further accusations involve Patience acting alone to steal six pieces of Kente cloth worth GH¢90,000 and six sets of men’s suits valued at US$3,000, which belonged to the minister’s husband.
The court also charged three additional individuals in connection with the thefts.
Benjamin, a 29-year-old plumber, has been accused of dishonestly receiving GH¢180,000, while Kweku Botwe, a 65-year-old trader, faces charges for dishonestly receiving GH¢50,000. Additionally, Malik Dauda, a 23-year-old unemployed individual, is alleged to have dishonestly received GH¢1 million.
All five accused individuals appeared before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Judge Susana Ekuful on Thursday, July 20, 2023. However, their pleas have not yet been taken.
Of the accused, Sarah has been granted bail in the sum of GH¢1 million, with two sureties required to deposit their Ghana cards with the court’s registrar.
It was clarified that the bail conditions are subject to review by the substantive judge as Judge Susana Ekuful was serving as a relief judge at the time.
In her briefing, Judge Susana Ekuful revealed that Patience, along with her alleged boyfriends and father, has been remanded into lawful custody. However, Sarah was granted bail due to being a breastfeeding mother.
According to the prosecution, Patience, also known as Maabena, previously worked as a house help for the complainants, Daniel Osei Kuffour and his wife, Cecilia Abena Dapaah. Sarah, too, was a former house help for the couple.
The alleged thefts came to light in June of the current year when the complainants reported the incidents to the police after discovering missing cash and personal belongings.
Patience was caught in the act, having opened and entered the couple’s room using a duplicate key. She was apprehended by Mr. Kuffour upon his return home, having noticed the room was unlocked and hearing unusual noises from inside.
Further investigations revealed the stolen items and the money in possession of Patience and her associates.
The accused allegedly used the stolen funds to finance various properties and purchases, including renting a 3-bedroom apartment and a store in Tamale, buying vehicles, and funding other personal expenses.
The court has adjourned the case to August 2, 2023, while investigations continue.